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Employee Motivation 101

There may be thousands of techniques, principles, and ideas about effective and efficient management, but one method still stands above the rest. Every great manager, coach, and parent knows the secret and puts it to use every moment of every day.

This method not only trains but also inspires others to achieve greater result. With today's business world in dire need of quick and effective training methods, this is one technique you don't want to be without.

Lead by example.

As Emerson once wrote, 'Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying.' It doesn't matter what you want others to do if you are not willing to set the example first.

This presents a definite problem for managers and supervisors who would rather have people 'do as they say and not as they do,' but if you're really interested in improving the performance and experience of the people you rely on, the changes have to come from the head down.

NEW EXAMPLE, NEW RESULTS When Douglas Freimark was named the new head of the sales department, he had his work cut out for him. The results in that department had been slowly decreasing, and the drop in results was crippling the company's ability to improve and expand.

Before he stepped into his new role, he was given a quick overview of the problem. In essence, he was told the sales force was failing to meet expectations. If things didn't improve fast, he was to remove the current employees and hire a new team.

Douglas understood motivation and the power of example enough to see through his supervisor's words. Working within the company before his latest promotion, Douglas was aware of the previous sales manager. He knew that the problem stemmed less from the sales force and more from a lack of leadership.

By acting in a way that he wished others to act, Douglas quickly improved the moral of the team. He let them know that he would never ask more of them than he did of himself. Douglas showed up early, worked with focus and intent, and stayed late. He was the example and the employees followed his lead.

In only a few weeks the sales force looked like a completely different group of people. They were excited about their work, about their goals, and about their future. Results quickly improved and were on their way to breaking company records.

While most would have replaced the 'problem' with a new set of faces, Douglas realized what the sales department was missing wasn't talented employees but the right example to follow.

The employees hadn't changed - their example and expectations did. Examine not what you say to your people but who you are and what you communicate with your own behavior. Be the example of what you wish to see in others.

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